Breastfeeding problems always have a solution while your baby adjusts to the feeding.
- Are you having problems with breastfeeding?
- Does your baby latch on and off constantly?
- Are you having sore breasts because your baby doesn’t latch properly?
- Are you having breast pain and about to switch to bottle feeding?
The Most Common Breastfeeding Problems
Flat or Inverted Nipples:
One in ten women suffers from having flat or inverted nipples. If your nipples usually come out when you have cold or respond to a pinch, you should have no trouble breastfeeding your baby.
There is an easy way to know if your nipples are flat or inverted.
Try this now: pinch the area around the nipple with a finger and thumb, if the nipple comes out, great!, feeding your baby should not be a problem.
Try any breastfeeding position with your baby and the suction should get the nipple out.
It is possible to have only one flat or inverted nipple because your breasts work independently of each other. That means that one breast may work perfectly for breastfeeding.
In some degree, some moms with flat or inverted nipples suffer from sore breasts and nipples. The degree of inversion is likely to become less with each subsequent pregnancy.
If during pregnancy you discover that your nipples are flat or inverted you can try with a breast shell or a Nipplete (both from Avant seller).
The breast shell is a plastic disk that is positioned inside the brassiere to protect the nipple from becoming flattened. The breast shell can also help an inverted nipple to protract.
However, if you still have breastfeeding problems when your baby is born, the Niplette may work better during the early days. Few minutes before each feeding will help get out the nipple so your baby can start suckling. The Niplette is recommended even before pregnancy or during the first 6 months in order to correct flat or inverted nipples.
You can always try with your partner an oral stimulation of your nipples. I am sure your partner will love that.
Your breasts may become saturated with milk during the first days after birth. Overfilled breasts can easily become very swollen and painful, leading to severe engorgement.
The saturation of milk is normal during breastfeeding. The important is to achieve a balance between the amount of milk produced and the amount of milk your baby can suckle.
The saturation of your breasts is caused by the normal milk production and the extra blood and fluids in your breasts. So if your baby does not suckle enough milk, you may suffer of mild to moderate breast engorgement. Eventually this breastfeeding problem goes away when the breasts are not stimulated to make more milk.
- Establish a regular breastfeeding routine, avoiding waiting too long between feeds.
- If you have decided to breastfeed, avoid feeding your baby with formula, unless it is strictly necessary or prescribed by your doctor. Babies who are fed by formula or water are less likely to breastfeeding well.
- Make sure your baby latches well.
- If your baby does not suck all the milk, you’ll need to express (force out) your breast milk. Use a breast pumping and store milk in containers, under refrigeration. Breast milk will keep up to 48 hours in the refrigerator. If you are a working mom, you can give this milk to the person who will feed your baby when you are working.
- To relieve the pain in your breasts, you can apply cold compresses and give gentle massage. You can also use a supporting bra.
- Soak a towel in hot water and place it on the breast ten minutes before feeding.
- Feed your baby with both breast 10 to 15 minutes each.
Loss of Milk Between Feedings:
When your breasts are overflowing with milk, they will begin to leak. This may be considered normal for most women, but others may think they have breastfeeding problems.
- To avoid wetting your bra, you have to wear absorbent pads.
- If your baby is not ready to be fed, you will need to pump the milk and store it in containers, under refrigeration.
If your baby doesn’t empty completely all the milk from your breasts, the remaining milk can harden and block the ducts. If you feel sore breasts, it might be a sign of plugged ducts and you have to treat it immediately with your doctor. Some moms can develop a breastfeeding problem called “Mastitis” (It is an infection of the breast tissue).
- Feed your baby with both breast 8 to 14 minutes each.
- Give your breasts gentle massage
- Place on your breast a wet towel with hot water for about 9 minutes before breastfeeding.
- Try different breastfeeding positions while breastfeeding in order to ensure that the milk ducts empty.
- Your bra should be well fitting and should allow you to breathe easily
Do not forget that many other women are in the same boat as you. It’s not an easy thing to do, but if you give it a try and it works for you, there can be some really great pluses.
Remember that while you are breastfeeding, there will be an increase in breast milk, otherwise it will be reduced or even stopped.
Some moms find that in certain moments they produce too much milk. However, the quantity of milk may decrease depending on the demand from your child, and normally it can be managed without becoming a problem.
If you are still having breastfeeding problems, don’t be afraid to ask help to your midwife or health provider in those early days after birth. You can always get help from some organizations like “La Leche League”. They will teach you how to breastfeed your baby and tell you all breastfeeding benefits.